September 26: BREAKING BAD: The uses — and misuses — of embargoes in science and medical publishing

Several times each week, science, medical and health journals give advance notice of research findings to science and health journalists on the condition that they honor an embargo: a predetermined date and time before reporting on the research can be published. Journalists, for the most part, agree to the embargo conditions and hold their stories until the embargo lifts. But sometimes, intentionally and unintentionally, embargoes are broken. Could it be that the embargo system — originally intended to provide an even playing field for journalists to report on complex findings — itself is broken?

Join us on Monday, September 26 for a provocative and lively evening to hear a distinguished panel of science and medical writers debate the pros and cons of science embargoes.


Ivan Oransky, the executive editor of Reuters Health, edits the Embargo Watch blog, “keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage.” He has been managing editor, online, of Scientific American, deputy editor of The Scientist, and editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Praxis Post. He was on the faculty of the health and medicine track at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, and he currently teaches medical journalism at New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program.

Steve Sternberg recently joined US News & World Report as deputy editor of health rankings. He was medical writer at USA Today for more than 15 years, covering public health, heart disease and global health, including bioterror-related issues. Steve has also written for the the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, Medical Economics, Science, The Scientist, Bioworld Today and numerous other publications.

Elaine Larson, RN, PhD, FAAN, CIC, has been Editor of the American Journal of Infection Control since 1995. She is Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Pharmaceutical and Therapeutic Research at the Columbia University School of Nursing and Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is a former Dean of the Georgetown University School of Nursing. Dr. Larson has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the Report Review Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. She is the Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research to Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance at Columbia University. She has published more than 250 journal articles, four books and a number of book chapters in the areas of infection prevention, epidemiology, and clinical research.

Neda Afsarmanesh is a press officer for the journal Nature. Prior to joining Nature, she worked at The Science Network and spent a year working with children with autism, early-bipolar, and other mental health problems at the Kennedy Hope Academy at the Franciscan Children’s Hospital. Neda received a bachelor’s degree from California Institute of Technology and a master’s degree from Boston University School of Medicine.

Monday, September 26, 2011
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

305 Weiss Research Building
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Ave (at East 66th Street)

Free for 2011 dues-paid SWINY members, $10 for non-members, $5 for students. Join SWINY — valid through 2012 — or renew your lapsed membership for 2012 for just $25, and attend this event at no charge.

RSVP here.

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1 Response to September 26: BREAKING BAD: The uses — and misuses — of embargoes in science and medical publishing

  1. Pingback: Embargoes and the Ingelfinger Rule: My presentation to SWINY « Embargo Watch

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